I have two auto-buy thriller series going right now: Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series. Both get gritty and have well-layered plots. Their protagonists have interesting backstories and there are enough books in each series that you really feel like you know the characters well, especially the supporting ones. One big difference is that the Strike novels spend a bit more time in the characters’ personal lives than the Department Q books. In a one-off, the author only has so much ink, but a series frees up the author to expand the character arc over many books. This can be a challenge at times in terms of balance between the current case and the protagonists. This is particularly true in Lethal White, which runs approximately 200 pages longer than the others in the series.
Btw. I’m going to suppose in this review that you have read at least one of the Strike novels before, because I think it’s essential to understanding the happenings in this one.
In LW you will find four threads fighting for the forefront: Robin’s personal life, Cormoran’s personal life, a decades old murder, and a blackmail case related to the promotion of the ’12 Olympics.
I enjoyed where Robin and Cormoran’s characters’ stories went in this one. There is definitely a deepening of their relationship as partners in the agency, and a clear look into their individual characters.
The intertwined cases were more complex than in the other three books. There were more leads to track down, more suspects to tail, and more opportunities to go undercover. And because the agency is growing due to Strike’s increasing celebrity, some new fun characters have been added to help out with the work load.
I felt there was some imbalance in keeping each thread moving along. There was a little bit of a lull in the second half of the book; maybe there needed to be a couple more clues teased out to keep interest up.
Lethal White is a very good addition to the series, and while I enjoyed each individual thread, I felt there was too much of a fight for each to get to the forefront.